Hiking Along a River in the North Woods of Minnesota in the Spring while Contemplating Our Next Move

Greetings Everyone,

Too much time has passed since we last connected with all the creative citizens in the world. This past winter was a long one, and I feel how a bear must feel when it emerges from hibernation with a groggy mind and stiff joints. Our minds and our spirits have reawakened. Join us as we revive “The Biome”, our blog on Hawk & Robot. We have no excuses for our lapse in pursuing our creative vision, but inspiration has returned and we are thrilled! We have so much to look forward to, and so much to share. Spring thus far has jerked us back and forth between seventy-eight and twenty-five degrees, mocking our attempts to beat the winter blues. One day there are gray skies and a thrashing gale and we’re lethargic; and the next day brings radiant sunlight and tranquil views that fill us with fervor. Anyway, you might be wondering what we’ve been up to recently, so let’s start with an update. Our family: Pete, Laura and Felix (who is turning four on June eleventh) has been living in Duluth, Minnesota for almost two years after selling our house in Minneapolis during the astounding sellers’ market of 2017. The opportunity to reside amidst the rugged terrain and splendid beauty of the southern Laurentian Plateau (a.k.a. the Canadian Shield) has been remarkable. We’ve spent our time here on the western tip of Lake Superior enjoying the pristine scenery - the panoramas of clouds and fog, cedar and birch trees, rivers, sea smoke, frozen waves and rocky cliffs - and the perspective of this place that’s called the “Zenith City”, or the highest point along the shores of the Great Lakes, which are already at mountainous heights, even though the mountain valleys happen to be filled in with decidedly cold and deliciously fresh water.

As residents of this specific place, and as fanatics of the outdoors, we took advantage of the first weekend of wonderful spring weather that we’ve had this year, consisting of a temperature over thirty-eight degrees and a wind velocity under 5 miles-per-hour. We decided to go hiking in Jay Cooke State Park, which showcases the primal beauty of the St. Louis River winding its way towards Lake Superior. The cascades and the rapids from melting snow were churning up brown-tinted waves, and the trails were interspersed with sections of soggy leaves, muddy mulches and streaming tributaries. We traversed the easier (and well-worn) trail adjacent to the river to avoid too many steep inclines and scrambling over hazardous rocks. Felix employed his uncanny superhero capabilities to dodge the diabolical traps laid for him and capture the mischievous villain, a role played not very convincingly by me due to the distracting natural beauty all around us. The trail was bordered by a completely still and undisturbed brook covered with a mosaic of multi-colored leaves, which made it look like a wall paper pattern. We could not resist stopping every so often to disrupt the stream by throwing some rocks into the water. The layer of fall leaves and needles on the forest floor was permeated with newly-revived and vibrant green plants and ground cover. We petted all kinds of mosses on lower portions of tree trunks; we spied the first tiny white and lavender blossoms of spring flowers popping up, as well as hearty pine sprigs growing out of decaying logs, and robust tree buds bursting from the tips of branches.

On our way back to where we started we climbed around on the rocks overlooking a large U-shaped waterfall and marveled at how forcefully the river was flowing. We contemplated where the tremendous amount of water constantly gushing into Lake Superior comes from. Sitting on the boulders heated by the sun and watching the constant movement of the water is peaceful and soothing, and even though the water never stays in the same place, it feels as though nothing is changing. Our life here in Duluth has started to feel like watching the river instead of being the river, so we’re deliberating about how to start flowing again and work on our creative passions for Hawk and Robot. We’ve made the decision to return to the Twin Cities to recover our motivation, but it will be difficult to leave the serenity of the north woods. We both agree that we need to find a way to spend time up here every summer, but right now there are so many adventures waiting to be had and we’re jumping on board.

Posted on June 22, 2019 .